Skip to Content

Orange Fruit Symbolism (Top 7 Meanings)

Orange Fruit Symbolism (Top 7 Meanings)

Oranges have held a special place in the hearts and minds of people since ancient times. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing to look at, but they also carry a deep symbolism and meaning. Historically, they have been featured prominently in paintings, myths, and legends.

Oranges and other citrus fruits have been depicted in paintings for centuries, particularly in the Baroque era, where they were associated with high social status. The orange became a symbol of wealth, exotic destinations, and distant lands.

They have been associated with prosperity, protection, fertility, and abundance. In some cultures, they were revered as sacred symbols of the sun and life itself. In others, it represented the circle of life and was associated with renewal and rebirth. 

They have been celebrated and adored over the ages.


Many believe that the classical tale of Hesperides is the source of the orange tree and its fruit’s prominence in the art world. 

According to ancient mythology, Hercules was tasked with retrieving the legendary golden apples (now oranges) as a wedding present for Zeus, the ruler of the gods, from Hesperides’ garden. [1]

A bunch of oranges.
Photo by Graphic Node on Unsplash

In the Renaissance, oranges became a symbol of luxury and status due to their association with Hercules. They were so highly prized that the number of oranges on a banquet table was an indication of the guests’ status and the host’s wealth.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that oranges became more widely available and gradually became the most cultivated fruit in the world. They are now common in many households and have become a regular part of diets due to their nutritional value and health benefits. [2]

Symbolism in Art

The orange represents various ideas in art, including wealth, fertility, protection, and abundance.

The renowned painting by Jan van Eyck entitled ‘The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait’ (painted in 1434) represents the marriage ceremony of a member of the Arnolfini family – a prominent Italian mercantile family residing in Flanders. The painting itself is colloquially referred to as ‘The Marriage Contract.’

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait (1434).
Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait (1434).
Gennadii Saus i Segura, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On further inspection of the painting, one can observe oranges in the corner. They have been used as symbols of fertility and marriage, as they are believed to be imbued with unique properties, such as the wish for a long-lasting and fruitful marriage. 

Also, they symbolize the couple’s love and the start of a happy and prosperous relationship.

The orange fruit is associated with wealth and prosperity in Northern Renaissance paintings, whereas it does not carry the same symbolic meaning in Spanish art. This is because it grew in abundance in Spain and was very common, thus not having any particular status associated with buying and consuming them. 

However, they had to be imported from Spain and were expensive in Flanders, thus only available to the wealthy. [3]

Symbolism in Filmmaking

The use of the orange in filmmaking is extensive, as it carries powerful symbolic meaning and can convey a wide range of ideas and emotions to the audience. 

The movie Godfather is full of speculation about the potential symbolism of oranges. It is commonly interpreted that misfortune or danger is near whenever someone handles an orange. [4]

Cultural Significance

Mandarin oranges have long been associated with good luck and fortune because the word for orange in Mandarin sounds similar to the word they use for wealth. 

The orange hue of the fruit is also often associated with gold, making it a highly auspicious symbol. It is believed that gifting a mandarin orange symbolizes good luck and prosperity, which often makes it a popular gift during the Chinese New Year.

The cleft in the orange is sometimes seen as a sign of wealth and abundance, as it is thought to represent a full purse. This further highlights the traditional significance behind the mandarin orange and its significance in Chinese culture. [5]

Symbolism in Real Life

Fresh organic oranges on display on a sunny day.

The orange has become a symbol of good health, vitality, and energy in modern times. The bright hue of the fruit is thought to lift the mood and bring a sense of joy to those who consume it.

God Will Reward You

When you come across an orange fruit, it is often seen as a sign that God will bless you with rewards for your hard work and dedication. Depending on your current situation, this could be seen as both positive and negative signs.

If you are not taking the necessary steps to work towards your goals or have been living unrighteously, this could be a warning sign to remind you to make the right choices. 

However, if you have been putting in the effort and making the right choices, this could be seen as a sign of encouragement and assurance that your hard work will be rewarded. [6]

Don’t Give Up

Life can be challenging at times. It’s important to remember that there are difficult periods and periods of abundance. Regardless of the season, oranges are a reminder to press on. 

Hold on tight and never give up. The universe is sending them your way as a sign that something great is on the horizon. They encourage you to keep going and give you hope that you will succeed. [6]

Implement the Ideas You Have

Spiritually, oranges symbolize the ideas you possess. They signify the many ways you can achieve a goal. It is now time to put those ideas into action. If you see them in your dream, the spiritual message in this sign motivates you to practice all of your ideas. [6]


Oranges are a symbol of health, vitality, energy, and renewal. Whether in art, mythology, or everyday life, they are powerful symbols with many meanings and interpretations. 

From representing wealth and abundance to encouraging perseverance and hard work, oranges are a special fruit celebrated and admired for centuries.